12 Status Symbols For 20-Somethings

In our 20s, most of us need to live very frugally. However, even those among us saddled with the most student loan debt in the most useless field has a day when they’re feeling rich. Here’s how we celebrate.

Going to the doctor

Every time you go to the doctor you can ride a chic-wave knowing that you’ve “made it.” Your illnesses can now be cured, moles checked and uncounted future diseases vaccinated. This is your moment to shine.

Household items

You remember the days of using ugly, inefficient cleaning items and dreaming of Swiffers and disposable dusters. Never in your life did you think you’d consider a vacuum cleaner a luxury item. And yet, here you are.

Pre-cut fruit

The mark-up on pre-cut fruit at the grocery store is insane. You can buy a whole package of fresh strawberries for $4 or you can buy the same size package filled with four of the same strawberries with their tops cut off and a bunch of random filler fruit (looking at you, cantelope) for $6. This is definitely a splurge item because it’s so very clear you are paying for the convenience of something that takes a very minimal effort. If you have ~60 seconds and a butter knife you could be saving $2.

Subscriptions to Netflix AND Hulu

Netflix has completely replaced cable because it’s so much better for instant gratification. If you like a show you can cancel your plans for the rest of the week and watch the entire catalog. Hulu is more of a luxury though. Even though it’s only $8/month you could find the shows that stream there other places online if you look hard enough. If you can splurge, you can outsource this searching to the Hulu app. And it’s either already on your TV or you can put it there with an HDMI cable, unlike most network apps.

Only checking your bank account once a week

Checking your bank balance demonstrates fiscal responsibility. Checking it multiple times a day demonstrates the dark emotion of constantly being anxious a check you wrote three weeks ago never got cashed and will suddenly deplete the money you were hoping would pay for your groceries. True wealth is never worrying about checking your phone and getting the dreaded “your account has insufficient funds/you suck at life” notification.

Buying alcohol for your friends

The absence of BYOB on your event invitation is the chicest status symbol of our time.

Glossy hair

Everything Garnier and Pantene commercials tell you is a lie. Glossy, bouncy, beautiful hair is expensive. The sheer volume of products you need is expensive: shampoo, conditioner, serum, styling cream, heat protector, etc. Then there’s the actual price, which is (no exaggeration) 5-20 times as expensive as their drugstore counterparts.

Buying your own drinks at bars

You no longer crowd with your friends into the handicap stall in the bar bathroom and take pulls of vodka from a waterbottle. Having the privilege of paying for your own drinks (even if they are just rail) is definitely a sign you’ve at least made it out of college. To be fair though, this is one of those “poor” things I think you should revisit at least once a year, crowding into a bathroom stall with your drunk friends is a team building experience like no other.

Splitting the check evenly

When eating with a group of friends, splitting the check evenly is by far the quickest and easiest way to go. In addition, this method is preferable mostly because you don’t have to do any math. But, if you’re poor it can be hard not to feel like you shouldn’t pay more because one of your friends had one more glass of wine than you did.

Non-Forever 21 clothes

This isn’t a “talk to you never” goodbye, you are human, after all. But Forever 21 is no longer your go-to store. You’ve stepped up your game to default at Zara or Banana Republic now. As weird as it feels to wear clothes that don’t disintegrate after one wear, you know you’ve made it now that you don’t have to insert the adjectives “fake” or “faux” when describing the fabrics you’re wearing.

Ordering out

When you’re poor, you can’t afford to spend $10 at Chipotle every day for lunch. That’s a $200/month Chipotle bill! Your lunch comes from Chez You in dutiful Ziploc containers and generic brand packets of string cheese. Bon appetite!

Superfluous cabs

You can take cabs places now! No more slumming it on the subway/bus/sidewalk. You are now where you’ve always dreamed you’d be: an enclosed space that smells faintly of vomit. And you couldn’t be happier, amirite? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image –Hillary Boles

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Chrissy Stockton

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